Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh announced this month a $17 million public-private partnership with Roca, anchor business institutions and philanthropic organizations to help Baltimore’s highest risk young people disrupt cycles of poverty and incarceration.
Roca is a Massachusetts-based group that has earned national recognition for providing some of the most innovative and effective interventions for young adults most at risk for committing or becoming a victim of violence.
The program currently operates in four sites in Massachusetts (Boston, Chelsea, Lynn, Springfield) and will replicate its model in Baltimore City.
“This is a very special announcement for me because we believe the approach to violence reduction is holistic, and we want to be inclusive in our approach to reducing the violence that exists in our city,” said Mayor Pugh. “Roca is not just a program that focuses in on individuals between the ages of 17-24, it is an intense focus that helps young people move beyond violence and into the types of job training, and personal development that leads them to become more productive members of our community.”
The significant new partnership will join other efforts to proactively engage high-risk youth in the City of Baltimore, and to reduce recidivism for those who have already encountered the criminal justice system. It will be funded by a combination of private and public dollars raised by Roca and the City of Baltimore, with a request for State funding still pending.
“We are humbled by the incredible efforts in the city to bring about change,” said Roca founder and CEO, Molly Baldwin. “At Roca, we are painfully aware that we can neither arrest nor program our way out of the violence devastating this city and that we need a different approach. We are so grateful for the invitation to help and we know we have a lot to learn as we initiate our work in Baltimore.”
Currently, Roca serves over 1,000 high-risk young people in 21 communities in Massachusetts and has been preparing to work in Baltimore for the past five years. Roca plans to serve 75 young people in Baltimore during its first year and gradually increase its services to 300 young people annually over the next three years.
Roca will begin operations in Baltimore during Summer 2018. An intensive planning process already is underway.
Stephanie Scali, 26, 207 Winthrop St., Medford, was arrested for possessing Class B drug.
Willie Jennings, 37, 251 Heath St., Jamaica Plain, was arrested for trespassing.
Kerven Julce, 33, 10 Lawrence St., Brighton, was arrested on a warrant.
Carlos Diaz, 44, 69 Marlborough St., Chelsea, was arrested on a warrant.
Salvador Pineda, 30, 153 Saratoga St., East Boston, was arrested on a warrant.
Jodelle Gabelus, 28, 41 Polk St., Charlestown, was arrested on a warrant.
Ely Feliciano, 21, Address unknown, was arrested on a warrant.
Frank Dangelo, 64, 9 Sixth St., Chelsea, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon.
Caroline Cash, 22, 84 Otis St., Winthrop, was arrested on a warrant.
Jose Gonzalez, 20, 64 Beacon St., Chelsea, was arrested for breaking and entering nighttime for felony, possessing burglarious instrument, larceny from building, resisting arrest, and malicious destruction of property and trespassing.
Juvenile offender, 16, was arrested on a warrant.
Dawid Sanek, 19, 56 Congress Pl., Dedham, was arrested for assault with a dangerous weapon and unarmed robbery.
Samuel Pensamiento, 26, 61 Meadow Ln., Lowell, was arrested for leaving scene of property damage and leaving scene of injury.
Henry Shaffer of Revere, formerly of Chelsea, died on December 24.
He was the beloved husband of the late Beatrice (Pirkovitz) Shaffer, loving son of the late Avrum and Ethel Shaffer and dear uncle of Johanna Alper and Amy Alper of Colorado, Susan Cohen of New York, Russell Pirkot of Greenfield, Donald Alper of W. Roxbury, Andy Cohen of Tennessee, Gerald Pirkot of Randolph, Murray Bass of New Jersey, Joshua Alper of Belmont and Daniel Cohen of Massachusetts.
Graveside services were held at Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, on December 26.
Donations in Henry’s memory may be made to the Chelsea Jewish Foundation, 165 Captains Row, Chelsea, MA 02150. Torf Funeral Service 151 Washington Ave., Chelsea assisted the family with arrangements. For guest book and directions please visit www.torffuneralservice.com.
Of Lynn, formerly of Revere and Winthrop
David M. Rantz of Lynn, formerly of Winthrop and Revere, passed away on Monday, December 18. He was 82 years old.
The cherished son of the late Morris and Marjorie (Rehal) Rantz and Anne (Staretz) Rantz, he was the beloved husband of the late Marie (Blundo) Rantz, cherished father of Laura Rantz Moyer and Nadine Rantz Casey and their mother, Margaret Casey, Lisa Giambartolomei Luise and her fiancé, Michael Hayes, Diana Giambartolomei Santheson and her husband, Carl, Maria Giambartolomei Calla and her loving companion, Paulie Christie and the late Audrey Buchanan. He was the adored grandfather of 10 and great-grandfather of eight; caring brother of Lois Vasel, who was his best friend, Joan Estabrooks, Florence Hodgkins, Selma Pomeranz, and the late Harvey Fischler, Marjorie Ferrara, and Freddie Rantz. He is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A Memorial Service will be held in David’s honor on Saturday, December 30 at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett. Inurnment will follow the service. At the family’s request, please OMIT flowers, donations may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284. For directions and guestbook, please visit: www.vazzafunerals.com.
Winifred Dorothy Churchill
Lifelong member of First Congregational Church and Winnisimmet Union of Chelsea
Winifred Dorothy (King) Churchill passed away Friday morning, December 22 surrounded by her loving family. She was 85 years old.
Born in Chelsea, the daughter of the late James and Dorothy (LeGrow) King, Winifred grew up in Chelsea, attended Chelsea public schools and graduated from Chelsea High School, Class of 1950. Although Winifred received her Associate’s Degree from Salem State College, she was a homemaker all her life. She tended to her home in Everett where she lived most of her life and cared for her husband and two daughters. In her later years, she and her husband moved to Peabody.
Winifred was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church in Chelsea, as well as the Church’s social organization, the Winnisimmet Union. She will be deeply missed by all her family and friends.
The beloved wife of Charles Robert “Bob” Churchill of Peabody with whom she shared 65 years of marriage, she was the devoted mother of Nancy Ellen DiMinico and her husband, Chris, Janet Elizabeth Herbert and her fiancé, John Vitale, all of Chelmsford and she is also lovingly survived by five grandchildren: Timothy, Christy and Lauren DiMinico, Katherine Herbert Muniz and her husband Derrick and Rachel Herbert, all of Chelmsford.
Funeral services will be conducted at the First Congregational Church, 26 County Road, Chelsea on Friday, December 29 at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Carafa Family Funeral Home, 389 Washington Avenue, Chelsea today, Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.
Chelsea High School senior Brandon Lazo performs ‘Carol Of The Bells’ for his piano solo during the annual CHS Winter Concert on Friday, Dec. 15. The evening included music, dance and percussion all performed to a packed house in the auditorium.
Kelly Klempa and Bently, wearing matching elf sweaters, during the Mystic Brewery and Polkadog Bakery Ugly Puppy Sweater Party on Saturday,Dec. 16, at the taproom. Scores of dogs and their owners, all decked out in their worst holiday gear, converged on the brewery for a fun party with friends.
Parishioners at the St. Rose Church on Broadway have returned to put up their spectacular Christmas light display this year on the new piazza. The volunteers spent most of 2016 building out the new structure, and this year is the first year they have been able to fully decorate it for Christmas – a tradition that goes back about six years.
An electrified Nativity scene outfitted with a blazingly bright star is just one of the many spectacular light displays on the new piazza to the north of St. Rose Church – a light display that started humbly a few years ago and now has grown to great proportions.
Father Hilario Sanez said the annual display is back this year courtesy of many dedicated parishioners from the Vietnamese-speaking contingent of the Parish.
The 20 or so men dedicate their time year in and year out to build out the bright display for the community and to honor the Christmas holiday.
The effort is now made all the more special due to the piazza patio that is in place to the north of the church – a patio that supports the colorful light display even more than the previous lights.
Cuong Pham led the Vietnamese parishioners in installing the piazza in the summer and fall of 2016. Working late into the night on weekdays and weekends, parishioners built out on a volunteer basis the new structure so that the church could host better get-togethers outside.
Their dedication to the project was unmatched, as many of those working came to volunteer late into the night after working full-day shifts in the construction industry.
Now, after a year break from the Christmas lights, this month the crew of Vietnamese parishioners were back to work putting up the light spectacular.
Within the community, many have commented on the display, and noted that the City’s new Christmas lights compliment the St. Rose display perfectly – making the downtown area much more festive.
This Monday, the City officially unveiled a light illumination feature in the clock tower of City Hall – a feature that can be seen prominently from Rt.
The Chelsea City Hall clock tower has finally been illuminated after many years of advocacy by Councillor Matt Frank. The project was unveiled on Monday and displays holiday-themed colors at the moment.
1 and the Soldiers’ Home and adds some variety to the Chelsea skyline.
When it went on Monday night, the new lighting scheme alternated green and red colors to match the City’s new Christmas decorations in the downtown area.
The lighting coincided with the last meeting of Councillor Matt Frank, who has long asked for the City to look into introducing some creative lighting on the exterior of City Hall.
Afterward, he said he was very happy to see that the City had taken his request seriously and had actually implemented it before he left office.
“I am beyond delighted that the City was able to complete the first phase of the clock tower light project on the eve of my last City Council meeting,” he said. “It’s a project I have been pushing for since the late 2000s and I am hoping they take the next step by installing outdoor lights to also bring light to the outer structure. Currently the lights are going red and green for the holidays and I’ve been told they are considering using the new lights for snow emergency purposes with a blinking blue.
“Combined with the fixing of the lights on the clock tower, this gives the City a powerful new tool when it comes to civic pride,” he continued. “The lights can be used to signal victory for our high school teams, to show holiday spirit and to showcase City Hall as a beacon for miles in every direction. Symbolism is a powerful thing. Hopefully this light will play it’s part in helping to bring more civic engagement to City Hall.”
Meanwhile, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he gives all the credit to Frank and to Fidel Maltez of Public Works.
“It’s just another small part of our efforts to improve the Downtown,” said Ambrosino. “I have to give the credit for the idea to Councilor Frank. I would have never thought of that on my own.”
In the last meeting of the year for the City Council, members voted in several new appointments and re-appointments to City boards – including the approval of long-time activist Gladys Vega to sit on the Planning Board.
Vega received a 10-0 vote with Councillor Giovanni Recupero being absent for all the appointment votes.
Vega said she was looking to get more active in the City’s committees, especially since there has been a call for more people to fill the volunteer – yet critical – roles. She said she planned to become increasingly active in City matters in the coming years if all goes well on the Planning Board.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Housing Chair Tom Standish stepped down from the Board after a monumental and tremendous job in his role as chair for the past several years.
Former CHA Board member Bert Taverna was voted in 10-0 to replace Standish.
Standish was one of the first members of the new Board appointed by the state and former City Manager Jay Ash when the CHA went into receivership following the Michael McLaughlin scandal.
Standish was a solid presence on the Board in the years following the scandal, helping to put the once-troubled CHA back onto solid footing after the fleecing done by McLaughlin to virtually every part of the organization.
Standish led the Board throughout the difficult process, and helped to take it from a troubled agency to a top performer.
After those two appointments, there was Council politics that entered the room, with Councillor Damali Vidot clashing with Councillor Roy Avellaneda on the nine re-appointments.
Vidot has been a staunch advocate for getting new and different people on the City’s boards and said she discovered in the Charter that the City is required to advertise open Board and Commission seats. However, due to an oversight, that hasn’t been done in some time.
Avellaneda disputed that such a thing was in the Charter, and read Section 4 that did not include any such language.
However, after some tussling between members, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said it is in Section 9 of the Charter and it was an oversight. He said he will begin to advertise quarterly any openings in the English and Spanish-language newspapers.
To make a point, Vidot voted against all nine re-appointments, which were mostly non-controversial and resulted in 9-1 votes of approval.
Planning Board member Todd Taylor did elicit some controversy, as he was approved by a vote of 7-3, with Councillors Judith Garcia, Vidot and Avellaneda voting against him.
Those voted in on a 9-1 vote were:
Olivier del Melle, Dudley Street, Planning Board
Emmanuel Tellez, Broadway, Board of Health
Robert Pereira, Gerrish Avenue, Historical Commission (replacing Ilana Ascher)
George Pazos, Union Street, Traffic & Parking Commission
Marlene Jennings, Breakwater Drive, Cultural Council
Mark Rossi, Clark Avenue, License Commission
Robert Lynch, Shawmut Street, Conservation Commission
By a preliminary vote of 8-0, Councillor Damali Vidot received the support of her colleagues to become the new Council President in 2018 during a meeting on Monday.
The annual Conference Committee on leadership took place Monday with two possible candidates, current President Leo Robinson and Vidot. Both had been vying for the position behind the scenes, lobbying their colleagues for the position.
However, Robinson apparently had withdrawn his name before Monday’s conference, conceding the gavel to Vidot.
Those voting for Vidot to be president were Councillors Luis Tejada, Yamir Rodriguez, Giovanni Recupero, Calvin Brown, Bob Bishop, Enio Lopez, Robinson and Judith Garcia.
Vidot did not vote for herself, and Councillor Roy Avellaneda did not show up for the Conference. Councillor-elect Joe Perlatonda was absent during the president vote.
Vidot said she was honored to receive support from her colleagues, and will lean on the experience of long-time councillors to help her with the new role.
“I am honored to have received the support of my colleagues in serving as president of Chelsea City Council,” she said. “It is a responsibility I do not take lightly. I intend on leaning on the experience of longer-serving councillors while building on the passion and ideas of newer colleagues. We all have something different we bring to the table and I want to honor all of those voices while working cohesively on the concerns of our hard-working residents.
“More importantly, I want to ensure that we are always adhering to our City Charter and it’s ordinances and ensuring that the process is always fair and transparent,” she continued.
The vice president role was more hotly contested, with Councillor-elect Brown getting the nod over Recupero in a vote of 6-4.
Those voting for Brown were Vidot, Rodriguez, Brown, Bishop, Lopez, and Garcia. Those voting for Recupero were Tejada, Recupero, Robinson, and Perlatonda.
Avellaneda was not present for the vote.
Tejada was unanimously elected as the new School Committee liaison in a vote of 10-0, with Avellaneda absent.
The Council also participated in the annual drawing for Roll Call vote order and seating order.
Vidot will be the first vote next year in any roll call, with Recupero being the last vote.
In seating, there will be some interesting neighbors – with Councilors Recupero and Perlatonda sitting next to one another again. The old friends sat next to one another when Perlatonda was on the Council previously. Oddly enough, Perlatonda will also sit next to Garcia, who replaced him two years ago and whom he has criticized from time to time. Bishop will site on one end of the Council, while Calvin Brown will sit on the other end.
Describing it as a “wonderful thing” on FBI surveillance tapes, the cold-blooded murderer of Irvin Depazm, 15, of Chelsea, has now been brought to justice.
An MS-13 member pleaded guilty on Thursday, Dec. 14, in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 15-year-old boy in East Boston.
Joel Martinez, a/k/a “Animal,” 23, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in East Boston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for March 22, 2018.
Martinez was identified as a member of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique, which operated in Chelsea, Everett, and elsewhere in greater Boston.
Martinez admitted that on Sept. 20, 2015, he murdered a Depazm, 15, on Trenton Street in East Boston.
In recorded conversations between Martinez and a cooperating witness, Martinez acknowledged being a member of MS-13 and admitted that he stabbed the victim to death. Specifically, Martinez said, “I stabbed the (expletive deleted) three times, and it was a beautiful thing! Just beautiful!”
As a result of the murder, Martinez was “jumped in” and made a “homeboy,” or full member of MS-13, during a ceremony that was surreptitiously recorded by federal agents. When a prospective member is “jumped in,” members of the MS-13 clique beat the new member with their hands and feet while one of the leaders of the clique counts aloud slowly to 13.
After a three-year investigation, Martinez was one of 61 individuals named in a superseding indictment targeting the criminal activities of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 in Massachusetts. Martinez is the 27th defendant to plead guilty in this case.
Martinez faces up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, and will be subject to deportation upon the completion of his sentence.